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Infant rashes

Created: 03.08.2023

Updated: 30.12.2023

Approved by: General Practitioner, Dr Binita Parmar 

Babies often get rashes, especially during the first weeks of life. This can be scary for the parents but is usually temporary and harmless. This is a guide to some of the most common types of infant rashes.

Marbling of skin (Livedo Reticularis)

Marbling the skin is not really a rash, but volatile changes in the skin's blood vessels due to the thin veins reacting to the cold. This usually occurs within weeks to months, but in some cases, tendencies towards marbling continue right up to early toddlerhood.

Marbling of the skin, or Livedo Reticularis, is a condition where the skin appears mottled or lace-like due to constricted blood vessels reacting to cold or other factors. It's not a rash but a visible pattern of purplish, reddish, or bluish discoloration, often on the legs but can occur anywhere. It varies in duration, appearing transiently or persistently, and is more pronounced in infants up to early toddlerhood. Always consult a healthcare professional if persistent or concerning.

Harlequin colour change

With Harlequin colour change, you see a sudden change in the skin colour of one-half of the infant's body. This phenomenon can look quite dramatic but is completely harmless. This occurs in about 10% of children and resolves within a few weeks.

Erythema Neonatorum

Erythema Neonatorum is a common red rash in the newborn. More than half of all babies get such a rash during the first day of life, especially in term births. The cause is currently unknown but does not imply an underlying disease. The rash usually disappears during the week and often occurs once or twice in the following weeks.

Baby Acne

Babies can get pimples and we see it in around 20%. They are seen as small, white pimples, most often on the forehead, nose and cheeks. The pimples are usually the result of a normal hormonal reaction in the sebaceous glands. The general advice is to let the rash go away on its own and that it should be consulted with a healthcare professional before any treatment.


Milia are white or yellow flat bumps on the skin that often occur on the forehead, cheeks, nose and chin. This is found in approximately half of all newborns and usually pass within a few months. Milia is due to the fact that the substance keratin does not escape from the skin. Avoid squeezing the dots. This is completely harmless and requires no treatment.

Heat Rash (Miliaria)

Usually called heat rash. Caused by immature sweat glands that have not opened yet, which results in the sweat not escaping. This can frequently affect newborns, and also appears during the first month. The rash varies in appearance and can sometimes be seen as blisters. This may look awful, but is harmless and goes away on its own. Measures in the meantime can be to cool down the baby's surroundings, e.g. undress them or try a little cooler bath water.

Cradle Cap (Seborrheic Dermatitis)

This is a greasy and scaly rash mainly localised to the head, but also elsewhere on the body. The condition does not itch and usually disappears gradually during the first year. Certain treatments can be considered such as topical creams, antifungal creams and steroid creams if the health professional felt it was required.

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General Practitioner

At Dr.Dropin our experienced GPs provide a wide range of primary care services, similar to those provided by the NHS, either in the clinic or through video consultations.


At Dr.Dropin, you will receive specialist care from our expert Consultant Dermatologists provided by skindoc. With extensive experience from both public and private hospitals, we can assess and treat most chronic and acute skin disorders – either in the clinic, through video, or via a photo upload service.